Sarah-Jane Leslie

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Psychological essentialism is the belief that some internal, unseen essence or force determines the common outward appearances and behaviors of category members. We investigated whether reasoning about transplants of bodily elements showed evidence of essentialist thinking. Both Americans and Indians endorsed the possibility of transplants conferring(More)
Much evidence suggests that, from a young age, humans are able to generalize information learned about a subset of a category to the category itself. Here, we propose that-beyond simply being able to perform such generalizations-people are biased to generalize to categories, such that they routinely make spontaneous, implicit category generalizations from(More)
Thought experiments about the self seem to lead to deeply conflicting intuitions about the self. Cases imagined from the 3 rd person perspective seem to provoke different responses than cases imagined from the 1 st person perspective. This paper argues that recent cognitive theories of the imagination, coupled with standard views about indexical concepts,(More)
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